For two geographic parts divides Georgia Surasovsky Pass. Everything that is located west of Suram is Western Georgia, smaller in the territory, but with a greater natural, ethnographic and historical note. To the east of the Sururant Pass in another natural zone, central and eastern Georgia are located.
Speaking of Georgian cuisine, it is impossible not to say about the main differences in the kitchens of Western and Eastern Georgia, due not only to different natural conditions of these two large areas, but also known Turkish influence in the kitchen of Western Georgia and Iranian – in the kitchen of East Georgia. As a result, the difference in using some of the main products (bread, meat) and partly in the nature of the favorite aromatic taste gamma – the difference preserved up to our time.
So, in Western Georgia, corn bread and special cakes made of corn flour – msidi, while in East Georgia prefer wheat bread. In some parts of Western Georgia – Megrelia and Abkhazia – as bread is also used by the chumise (view of millet), from which the casket mass is boosted – the goom, used instead of bread with soups, meat and vegetable dishes. As for meat, in Eastern Georgia, along with basic for Georgians, meat – beef, eat and lamb, use quite a lot of animal fats, while in Western Georgia eat meat, preferring a poultry, t. E. Mostly chickens and turkeys (geese and ducks in Georgia do not use food). Finally, in Western Georgia, more sharp dishes are used, slightly different sauces.
All this, however, does not give reason to carry out an insurmountable line between West and Easternogrusian cuisines, for it does not affect, does not change the main, characteristic features of the Georgian national cooking. And in the field of using the overwhelming majority of products, and even more so in the field of technology as a whole, the entire Georgian cuisine has its own characteristics.
Take at least meat dishes so common in the Transcaucasia. The long existence of the Georgian nation at the junction of many cultures and influences led to the fact that in general in Georgian cuisine, none of the types of meat has a predominant value. Georgian meat dishes can be made of pork (male), from lamb (Chanahi), from beef (Harcho) and from poultry (chakhokhbil). Such tolerance is usually not peculiar to other nations of the East. It is pretty clearly illustrated, by the way, by one old Georgian dish, called "Bull on Spit". The composition of it is extremely simple: a calf is placed inside the bull carcass, a lamb is put in the calf, turkey – turkey, in turkey – goose, in a goose – duck, in duck – chicken. In the intervals between these animals and inside them in all corners, spicy herbs are stuffed – kinse, basil, tarragon, leek, mint, arched and crossed with red pepper, garlic, saffron, cinnamon and nuts. All this is a giant roast fry on a spit, right on the street, above the coal bunch for several hours. Outside, a rather thick layer is charred, so part of the meat disappears. But inside such an abundance of juice, such a unique aroma, that, in compatibility and subtleties of the taste of meat with it, no other meat dish in the world can be compared.
However, tolerance to all types of meat does not interfere with Georgians yet most of all love beef and poultry – turkey and chicken.
Compared to meat, fish dishes occupy a relatively modest place in Georgia, and even then only in separate areas located near the rivers. At the same time, it should be emphasized that the types of fish are typical for the Transcaucasus are Usach, the temple, the seashest, the pillow belonging to the carp family and differ from extremely gentle and fatty meat. In the high-altitude transparent and fast rivers of Abkhazia, Svaneti, Hessuretia and the upper brand, the trout is common, the meat of which is also exquisite tasty and does not have a specific "Fish" Tychusa. These features of local fish raw materials in combination with a relatively rare and minor use of fish compared to meat in Georgian cuisine impart the nature of the cooking of fish in Georgians. It is used primarily in the boiled and stew and squeeze the same sauces and seasonings as meat or vegetable dishes.
The formation of a lean table in Georgian cuisine, as opposed, for example, from Russian went through the development of non-fish and mushroom dishes, and mostly vegetable and fruit. Natural environment itself. As a result, vegetable dishes began to occupy in Georgian cuisine a large and almost dominant place if you mean a variety of their species. Most of them are prepared from beans, eggplants, coastal and cauliflower, beets, tomatoes. These are the so-called basic vegetables. Along with garden vegetables in a great use of wild herbs – nettle, rank, Malva, Johnoli, Portulak and others, as well as young trees of garden crops – beets, cauliflowers. Various types of products made of grain crops should also be found to vegetable dishes: Probs – Zanduri, Chumyza, Rice, Corn.
Georgian cuisine vegetable dishes can be raw, type of salads, but most often they are boiled, baked, fried, stew, pickled or salted. The most often used combination of any one main vegetable (for example, beans, eggplants) with a variety of changing seasonings. Such, for example, dozens of types of Lobio. In other cases, on the contrary, the main vegetables (cabbage, beans, eggplants, beets, spinach) are changed in the dish, and seasonings, sauces, gravy remain unchanged. Such with vegetable dishes type moss and borants.
Large place in Georgian cuisine, harshs – lounge, hazelnut, beech nuts, almonds, but most often walnuts. This specific raw material is a constant component of various seasonings and sauces, equally well suitable for dishes from poultry, vegetables and even fish. Nuts go to meat soups and confectionery, in cold salads and hot second dishes. Without them, in short, unthinky Georgian table.
Finally, huge importance in Georgian cuisine has purchased spicy herbs used throughout the year. This is Kinza, Estragon, Basil, Charker, Spend, Green Onions, Mint Partly.
Another distinguishing feature of the Georgian table is frequent and abundant use of cheeses. First of all, attention is drawn to the composition of the cheeses. This is exclusively brine-type cheeses, prepared mainly a bardous and partly by a pitched way. In Western Georgia, the production of nonostile, unplaced cheese with milk taste is concentrated – Suluguni and Imeretinsky. In the highland northern regions of Eastern Georgia, they make sharp and salty cheeses – Kobysk, Tushinsky and Georgian.
Not only the taste of gamma, but also methods for using Georgian cheeses are very different from European. If in European cuisines a variety of cheeses make up the belonging mainly or a snack room or a dessert table, then in Georgian cuisine they are used in the preparation of hot dishes, both the second and first (gadaseli). In Georgian cuisine, the cheese is boiled or rolled in milk, fry on a spit and in a frying pan in oil, baked in the dough, soaked, tick, squeeze with oil and spices. These features of the use of cheeses are largely related to the fact that the Transcaucasian cheeses very often do not pass a complete ripening process and are typical semi-finished products, as well as with a series of ancient mountain peoples, the desire to transfer the heat treatment of meat to other animal products, to adapt them, For example, to cheese. So, the cooking and fried cheese is characteristic of Swiss cuisine, Georgian cuisine is as inherent to roasting cheese on a spit.
Wide use up to our days of open fire and spit for cooking not only meat, but also vegetable, fish and even cheese dishes, as well as the use of a clay bunny-like oven for baking flour products as a whole is typically, of course, not only for Georgian, but also For other Transcaucasian cuisines. More specific to Georgians used for frying and baking Ketzi – small clay and large stone pans, as well as wide metal tap frying for frying poultry under the press. And although the last reception was borrowed in antiquity of the Armenians, but in Georgian cuisine, he received much more distribution. All of these technological methods are, however, only one of the elements of creating a national culinary color in Georgian cuisine.
Another, externally less attracting attention, but but more significant and truly national peculiarity of Georgian cooking is the use of special techniques for creating a variety of dishes. Two such techniques should be called: the use of acidic, and acidic medium to create a peculiar taste and consistency of Georgian soups and the use of sauces to enrich the range of second dishes. Georgian soups are almost deprived of vegetable thickness. But the consistency of their much more densely conventional soups. This is achieved very often by the introduction of egg yolks or whole eggs in them.
So that the eggs are not coagulated when heated, the following reception is used: they are pre-mixed into a single emulsion with any acidic medium – natural sour fruit juice, sour milk (Maconi) or with vinegar. Especially often used as an acidic medium a thickened and dried puree plums Tkemali, called Tklapi. The acidic medium is used in soups and then when there are no eggs, but there are quite a lot of fats and meat. It not only reflects and diversifies the taste of dishes, but also significantly increases their digestibility.
Like French cuisine Georgian unthinkable without sauces. At the same time, Georgian sauces are fundamentally different from European both the composition and technology. For Georgian sauces of all types, extremely vegetable raw materials are used as the basis. Most often it is acidic berry and fruit juices or puree from tkemali, tern, pomegranate, blackberries, barbaris, sometimes from tomatoes. Walnut sauces also have a lot of distribution, where the basis is the scratched nuts, divorced either by broth or simple water or wine vinegar. Less frequently used as a basis for some sauces of crushed garlic (but it enters as an additional component in most sauces). In many sauces and pillings, all these main plant elements (sour juice, nuts, garlic) are connected in different proportions. Along with the basis of Georgian sauces, there is also a large set of spices, mainly spicy greenery, spicy herbs to which a small amount of dry spices is added. The composition of spicy greenery includes kinza, basil, estragon, charker, parsley, dill, mint; In the composition of dry spices – red pepper, coriander seeds, cinnamon, Cardobented (Imereti Saffron), carnation. Each sauce uses its own set of spices, t. E. Not all of the specified spices together, but usually three or four of them. This set in each case gives sauces in combination with various bases of diverse taste and aroma.
The technology of cooking Georgian sauces is usually reduced to two main operations: to the boilment of fruit juice or mashed potatoes and to the pushing of nuts, garlic, spices. Weld by a third or half, but tolten before getting a smooth paste or emulsion.
After boiling and the impression, it remains only to mix all components included in this sauce. Usually mixing reduces to dilution of dry components with liquid: juices, wine vinegar, broth or water. Most Georgian consistency sauces are liquid as opposed to, for example, European sauces having a thick consistency, sometimes more dense than thick sour cream.
Peculiar and use of sauces in Georgian cuisine: the same sauce can be applied to a completely different basis (meat, vegetable and even fish) and depending on this give different dishes. Such, for example, the use of sauce saziva. Sometimes the range of applications of the sauce may be limited only by vegetable dishes, but at the same time such dishes must be different in the composition of the main vegetables, T. E. And in this case, the principle remains the same – the same sauce to a different basis. So, to cabbage, eggplants, beets, beans can be used by the same sauce – Tkemali. On the other hand, different sauces can be applied to the same basis. This technique also gives different dishes by name. For example, to a completely equally fried chicken, you can apply sazebel sauces, saziva, Garo, Tkemali, garlic – walnut, barberry and dr.
It is variation of sauces and in a general small number of major products achieved to a large extent a variety of second Georgian dishes. Most often as the basis, products such as beans, eggplants, poultry, which are capable of creating very close to neutral, but not quite neutral flavor, favorable for manifestation of aroma, taste, spikes of Georgian sauces on it.
Sometimes Georgian sauces perform in the role of independent dishes and are used in this case with bread. Sufficient caloric content, significant content of vitamins, high taste qualities are fully explained by their use.
A few words about the taste range of Georgian sauces. The most distinctive feature is a tart of sourness, created by natural fruit and berry juices. Very often it is mistaken for "Acute" and bind with supposedly unlimited use of spices, especially pepper. Meanwhile, the acid-tart taste has nothing to do with "acute". Of course, it enhances the fragrance and taste, which is reported to Georgian sauces used in them spicy herbs, but the nature of their acidic bases and these spices are not acute.
Natural sourness of fruit juices has nothing to do with a sharp vinegar, which sometimes replace these juices when preparing Georgian dishes in restaurant practice. As for the spices used by Georgian cuisine, both in sauces and directly when cooking, they are also characterized by aromaticity, and not at all sharpness: not only spicy greens, like, for example, kinza, basil, charker, etaragon, mint, but and beloved dry spices – hops-Sunnels, cinnamon and cardies soften, die sharpness of taste and also differ, first of all, not burning, but high aromaticity.
A set of spices in Georgian cuisine, as by the way, in the rest of the Transcaucasian, it is haunting the creation not so much burning, how many aromatic-spicy, refreshing effect. From here in Georgian cuisine prevails the use of fresh, not dried spices and not so much classic, how many local, because fresh spicy herbs act more gently.
The only genuine burning spice in Georgian cuisine is a red pepper, but he. Like garlic, used, Georgians are quite moderately, although constantly. And red peppers and garlic are always used as an additional, not the main component in spicy mixtures and, moreover, their burning is always died by the fact that they necessarily accompany such food products such as crowded nuts and Maconi, which are designed to weaken the initial burning.
True, there are some differences in the use of spices between different areas of Georgia: in Western Georgia, especially in Abkhazia, who were almost two and a half (1578-1810.) Under the domination of Turkey, the use of red pepper (Turkish) is widespread much wider than in Eastern Georgia. So, in Abkhazia, they use a spicy mixture of adzhik, in which the red pepper is the fourth (!) part, in the rest of the Georgia, the proportion of red peppers in the total composition of spicy mixtures gradually falls (from the west to the East), reaching sometimes up to 5%, t. E. one twentieth part, but usually on average does not exceed the tenth.